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Faculty putting College of the North Atlantic on firm footing: Gerry Byrne

Elizabeth Kidd, left, interim acting president of College of the North Atlantic and Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, listen in during introductions at a press conference on Friday at the college headquarters in Stephenville.
Elizabeth Kidd, left, interim acting president of College of the North Atlantic and Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, listen in during introductions at a press conference on Friday at the college headquarters in Stephenville.

Stephenville businessman Bob Byrnes says he’s pleased to see the College of the North Atlantic is on the right track.  

William Radford, Senior Vice President (Academic) and Chief Learning Officer at College of the North Atlantic, looks on as Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, speaks about the college’s Modernization Plan 2019.

Byrnes was one of a large group who came to hear Gerry Byrne, minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour make an announcement that due to the completion of the Modernization Plan 2019, the public college is here to stay.

The businessman said as with many government operations over the years, overspending has taken place, something that can’t continue in this economic climate.

“The college needs to operate like any business and have to operate leaner and be more fiscally responsible,” he said.
Byrnes said there is a bottom to the money pot and administrators have to be cognizant of that.

 

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Meanwhile, the minister said this plan is basically an internal audit equivalent of an auditor general’s report, but done from within.
Byrne said there are some disturbing findings and one of those is that the college was spending cash reserves.

He said this is in essence funding outside the ordinary budget process and if that spending continued it would have left the college in an absolutely unsustainable and instable financial operating position.

“It was the equivalent of using the Visa card to pay for basic operations,” he said.

Byrne said the great news is that it has been corrected and specific measures have already begun to solve key issues identified within the report.

When asked if there would be job losses, he said there would be none associated with this modernization plan and, in fact, as it evolves job opportunities will increase.

He said the college has always been dynamic and this report will help it adapt to the realities of enrolment numbers, job prospects for graduates and the need to have programs to balance the two.

The minister said if this evaluation hadn’t been completed, especially in light of the rate that the college was burning cash reserves, that would not have been possible.

“Through rebuilding the college from the ground up significant savings was found,” he said.
Elizabeth Kidd, interim president and chief executive officer of College of the North Atlantic, said this review gives the college an outline for the future and presents it with an opportunity.

“It takes a critical look at the institution and provides a report card of what we are doing well and where we need to improve and strengthen,” she said.

The plan presents the findings of a review, outlines actions already taken and presents next steps to achieve longer-term results towards a modernized college system by 2019.

Byrne said the executive team along with many faculty and staff members should take great pride in what they have accomplished to put the college on a steady footing.

Cheryl Stagg, chair of the college’s board of governors, said the College of the North Atlantic is in a really good place now, with the board, government and the operations people all on exactly the same page.

 

****** Earlier story ******

No job cuts as a result of College of the North Atlantic plan, says Gerry Byrne

Gerry Byrne, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour said there will be no job cuts associated with a new College of the North Atlantic modernization plan he announced on Friday in Stephenville.

"College of the North Atlantic is here to stay,." he said during the introduction of a review and plan for modernization entitled CNA Modernization Plan 2019.
He said this plan is basically an internal audit that is the equivalent of an auditor general’s report but done from within.
Byrne said there are some disturbing findings that seem to jump out from every page of the review and one of those findings is that the college was spending down cash reserves.
He said this is in essence funding outside the ordinary budget process and if it continued it would have left the college in an absolutely unsustainable and instable financial operating position.
“It was the equivalent of using the Visa card to pay for basic operations,” he said.
Byrne said the great news is that it has now been corrected and specific measures have already begun to solve human resource, administrative, information technology and a host of other key issues identified within the report.
When asked if there would be any job losses, he said there would be none and in fact as the plan evolves there will be increased job opportunities in new programs, research initiatives and other community based services. He said the college has always been dynamic and this report will help it adapt to the realities of enrollment numbers, job prospects for graduates and the need to have programs to balance the two.
Byrne said if this evaluation hadn’t been completed, especially in light with the rate that the college was burning cash reserves that would not have been possible.
“Through rebuilding the college from the ground up significant savings was found,” he said.
Elizabeth Kidd, interim president and chief executive officer of College of the North Atlantic, said this review gives the college an outline for the future and presents it with an opportunity.
“It takes a critical look at the institution and provides a report card of what we are doing well and where we need to improve and strengthen,” she said.
The CNA Modernization Plan 2019 presents the findings of a review, outlines actions already taken to respond immediately to some of the findings and presents next steps to achieve longer-term results towards a modernized college system by 2019.
Byrne said the executive team of Kidd, William Radford, senior vice-president (academic) and chief learning officer, Bob Gardner, former interim president and Robin Walters, vice president, industry and community engagement along with many faculty and staff members should take great pride and satisfaction in what they have accomplished to put the college on a steady footing.
 

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